Re: Formally Object to Referencing WhatWG within the W3C HTML5 specification

Hi Shelly,

> I'm not sure that the legal status of the groups can't be so easily
> dismissed. Not in this particular instance, when we're no longer sure
> who does have a right to lay claim to copyright of HTML5.

My point is solely that the legal status of a group is not necessary  
in this case to ground the proposed action nor, afaict, is it  
sufficient. It runs the risk of providing an overbroad rule that then  
gets only applied in a single case.

It's not necessary because the relevant legal issues do not turn on  
the legal status of the WHATWG (e.g., ownership of the spec text; the  
WHATWG is not a candidate owner). It's not sufficient because I  
presume that even if the WHATWG changed its legal status (which it  
could easily do by incorporating in, say, the US or affiliating with  
a host organization), that people would object to the denigrating  
text (however accurate).

AFAIK, signing the membership agreement does not assign copyright to  
the W3C for work done on W3C specs, but only licenses it:

So I believe your assertion to copyright ownership is incorrect.

It seems that your argument about whether certain classes of links to  
the WHATWG specs and space are inappropriate or confusing are quite  
independent of the precise organizational nature of the WHATWG. I.e.,  
they are arguments about substance, the particular behavior of this  
particular group, not form (i.e., that they are not incorporated).  
I'm unclear whether you think that the W3C should adopt as a matter  
of policy "no parallel specs with any external organization". That  
*is* formal, but as we've really only had one case (though WS-I  
profiling is an interestingly related case) and there's ample issues  
to discuss there, I'd personally prefer to stick with the core  
substantive issues. I would object to introducing new formal  
constraints along the suggested lines because I can think of many  
situations both historical and prospective where I don't want them in  


Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 13:23:46 UTC